Arabic Sciences and Philosophy



A FEW NOTES ON [Hdotu]UNAYN'S TRANSLATION AND IBN AL-NAFIS' COMMENTARY ON THE FIRST BOOK OF THE APHORISMS


Amal Abou Aly  a1
a1 13 Safia Zaghloul St., Alexandria, Egypt

Abstract

The Hippocratic Aphorisms is a well-known treatise which was very popular throughout the ages. This paper studies the Arabic translation of [Hdotu]unayn ibn Ishaq, the renowned Arab translator, of the first book of the Aphorisms as well as the commentary of Ibn al-Nafis, the thirteenth-century Arab doctor, on the same book. This study highlights the difficulties that occasionally confronted the Arab commentator while commenting. The obscurity of a few Hippocratic sentences as well as [Hdotu]unayn's interpretation and alteration in meaning were probable sources for those difficulties. Ibn al-Nafis, however, was unaware of the role played by [Hdotu]unayn in shaping the Arabic text. Ibn al-Nafis reflected a deep trust in the Arabic text to the degree of commenting on every single word. He used both his intellect and his knowledge of other commentaries to solve those problematic phrases. He did not exhibit an interest in philological matters to help explain the text. His commentaries reflect his respect and appreciation for both Hippocrates and Galen, the latter of whom exercised some influence on [Hdotu]unayn and Ibn al-Nafis in their understanding of the work. Nonetheless both [Hdotu]unayn and Ibn al-Nafis showed traces of independence from Galen's influence.



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